In January of each year, our school has its annual shoe drive. It started over twenty years ago as I was searching for some local service projects for the kids to participate in. We decided to gather gently used shoes (most of our kids just out grow theirs) and set up a “shoe store” in a local park. We strategically chose that park because it is near an area of low income housing. We put signs up and several hundred members of the local community stop by and get a few pairs of very usable shoes.
One year, I got an email from one of our dads about this giveaway program. He said, “One evening before dinner my daughter explained the shoe drive the school was collecting for those in need. She pulled out a few pairs of shoes in the closet that were old and that she doesn’t wear any more. I told her she should also give some of her good ones as well. She asked me why?
I proceeded to tell her the story of King David and King Araunah in II Samuel 24. King Araunah finds out that King David is going to the altar to make a burnt offering to the Lord and Araunah tells David, ‘let me give you the oxen and other things you need for the offering.’ King David replies, ‘I will not give to my Lord that which cost me nothing.’
Well, my daughter wasn’t impressed with my preaching and was still not moved to give the shoes I was hoping for her to give. So I gave her a handful of some of my best shoes. She was surprised, but still not moved to do anything herself. The next morning in my quiet time, I prayed that the Lord would work on her heart to give that which was precious to her.
Isn’t that just like us to pray to God to change someone else, when we should first examine ourselves? Immediately the Holy Spirit convicted me, ‘you need to practice what you preach!’ I knew right away what this meant.
I had given some of my best shoes but not my favorite shoes. I went up and got my two newest and favorite shoes, placed them on the ground in front of my daughter and wife. My daughter knew without me saying anything what I was doing. She said, ‘No way Dad, you are going to give these shoes!’
My wife was then moved to give all of her favorite shoes as well. Then my daughter, not only gave the shoes I was hoping for her to give, but another pair (the precious pair that she and all her friends wear to school). God is so good! I hope this encourages people to avoid giving that which ‘cost them nothing.'”
This week might be a good time to review our personal giving. Is it cheerful? (II Cor. 9:6-8) Is it based on the blessings we have already received? (Deut. 16:17) Is it generous? (Prov. 22:9) Is it in response to the purposes God has laid in our heart? Does it cost us something or was it just a “tip off the top”?
Think about those shoes…..
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel